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Marine Harvest to float PFS and OHS by December

SCOTLAND - World leading salmon producer Marine Harvest, is planning to float Pan Fish Scotland (PFS) and the Stornoway-based Outer Hebrides Seafood (OHS) on the stock market before the end of the year.

The flotation is estimated to raise between £70m and £80m, most of which will be retained by the new company for investment.

Marine Harvest announced that Pan Fish would be put up for sale after it placed ownership of OHS to Loch Fyne-based PFS back in August.

Pan Fish Scotland produced around 16,000 tonnes of salmon in 2006 and has 169 employees on 31 sea sites from Loch Eriboll in north-west Sutherland to Loch Fyne in Argyll, a number of freshwater sites plus two hatcheries and a processing facility at Cairndow. Earlier this year, it bought Highland Fish farms for £4.1m, which gave it access to egg production and on-growing facilities.

The acting CEO for Marine Harvest, Leif Frode Onarheim, hinted that the stock market flotation will probably take place in the next two months. He also denied that Marine Harvest was under pressure from French competition authorities to divest itself of PFS. The French made the sale a condition of approving the merger in France.

Some analysts are already doubting the attractiveness of the new company, because of its size. It will have around 350 employees in total, and is expected to produce around 30,000 tonnes of salmon a year, although in the last financial statement from Marine Harvest, reported slight differences.

The company is expected to be floated on the Norwegian stock.

Source: FishFarmupdate